More people in East Anglia say losing their broadband for a day is more frustrating than their fridge, boiler or car breaking down, new research by Essex-based County Broadband shows.
When asked which of a list of incidents would be most inconvenient, some 9% of those surveyed in the East of England said their broadband going down would be the most inconvenient over a 24-hour period, compared to 8% for the fridge not working, 5% for the loss of central heating, and 3% for the car failing to start, according to the survey*.
The loss of electricity (76%) was the most common inconvenience for those surveyed in the East of England.
It comes after the coronavirus lockdown highlighted the importance of fast, reliable broadband with the region attempting to work from home, carry out school remotely, or simply keep in touch with loved ones during the pandemic.
Lloyd Felton, CEO of County Broadband, based in Aldham near Colchester, said: “The fact that fridges, central heating and cars – food, warmth and travel – have been overtaken by simply staying online suggests how our primeval instincts might be rapidly changing in the 21st century, and no doubt exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“From Zoom conferences and virtual work events, to 4K streaming and video gaming at home, we are not surprised by these findings which reveal just how vital fast and reliable broadband have become in our daily lives.
“These changing modern habits are set against the lockdown exposing East Anglia’s rural poor digital infrastructure and urgent need for new Hyperfast full-fibre networks.
“We’re playing our role in making our region a true flagbearer for world-class digital infrastructure by rolling out Hyperfast full-fibre broadband. We’ve catapulted thousands of residents and businesses overnight into the UK’s top 10% for digital connectivity and look forward to welcoming many thousands more to our growing network this year.”
Meanwhile, the study revealed 59% of those surveyed in East Anglia are often left frustrated by poor internet. Some 28% said they need better broadband now, with the figure rising to 67% predicting it will need to be better by 2023.
County Broadband’s Hyperfast full-fibre network is being built in over 50 rural and remote villages in Essex, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, with plans to connect 20,000 premises by Christmas 2020 following a £46 million private investment from Aviva Investors.
Speeds up to 1,000 Mbps are available – 18 times faster than the UK average and 10 times faster than copper-based superfast broadband that dates back to the Victorian period.
Residents and businesses can find out if they’re in a village covered in the rollout by using our postcode checker here.
*Survey of 1,000 adults living in urban areas in England and 1,000 adults living in rural areas in England conducted by Opinium on behalf of County Broadband in May 2020